Duane Vermeulen sends emphatic message by swatting away 109kg fellow Springbok
Ulster sent a strong message to the rest of the United Rugby Championship on Saturday by coming away with a 31-24 bonus point win from Kings Park against the Sharks.
As is the case with most Ulster wins, No8 Duane Vermeulen was at the heart of the victory. Up against a few of his South Africa teammates, the 63-cap Springbok would have wanted to send a message to Jacques Nienaber that he is still a viable option in his back row despite being the age of 37 come the start of the World Cup at the end of the year. Vermeulen sent this message to the Bok setup the only way he knows how to.
Maybe the standout moment of the No8’s match came in the first half, where he had a ten second stint where it basically looked like he had mastered rugby. After winning a turnover at the breakdown, Vermeulen was given a free run of about five metres before coming up against centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg. But the World Cup winner was able to swat away the centre with frightening ease before eventually being dragged down. That is a 109kg South Africa international that Vermeulen was able to throw to the floor. There aren’t many better signs that he’s still got it.
Take a look:
Defensive King 👑
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 28, 2023
Cell C Sharks: Boeta Chamberlain, Werner Kok, Francois Venter, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Thaakir Abrahams, Curwin Bosch, Grant Williams, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Dan Jooste, Carlu Sadie, Reniel Hugo, Gerbrandt Grobler, Dylan Richardson, Vincent Tshituka, Phepsi Buthelezi (CAPT)
Replacements: Fez Mbatha, Dian Bleuler, Hanro Jacobs, Emile van Heerden, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Cameron Wright, Lionel Cronje, Yaw Penxe
Ulster: Mike Lowry, Craig Gilroy, Luke Marshall, Stewart Moore, Aaron Sexton, Jake Flannery, John Cooney, Rory Sutherland, John Andrew, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Alan O’Connor, Harry Sheridan, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen (CAPT)
Replacements: Tom Stewart, Andy Warwick, Gareth Milasinovich, Cormac Izuchukwu, Dave McCann, Dave Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy